Make Sure Your Supplier is Complying With Regulations

When you hire a packaging vendor, you are hoping that your vendor is 100% up-to-speed on all health, environmental and labor issues. Nothing could be more disastrous to your brand or reputation than if you were caught in some type of a “sting” operation put forth by an over-zealous lawyer/regulatory agent who wants to make a name for him/herself. Or perhaps your Purchasing Agent has assumed your vendor was properly following regulations – and they weren’t. It has happened before and it will happen again.

In the world of decorated bottles, there are many different vendors from many different countries. Oversees vendors might not be as diligent, concerned or up-to-speed as to what is and what isn’t acceptable in North America. Think of toxic toothpaste or contaminated baby formula as relatively recent examples. For instance, in North America we have strict regulations such as Proposition 65 which must be adhered to by all companies that sell into the California marketplace. In California, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program. OEHHA, which is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), also evaluates all currently available scientific information on substances considered for placement on the Proposition 65 list. As per OEHHA’s website “Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By providing this information, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.”

If your company is selling anything into California, it is imperative that you are aware of these regulations or your vendors are. As a customer, it is your right to ask your vendor if the products that they sell to you are “Prop 65 compliant.” If they look at you like you are from Mars then I would strongly suggest that you find another vendor! It is simply not worth the risk to your brand or business if your vendor doesn’t have your back when it comes to government regulations.

On a national scale, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is granted with consumer safety over-sight in the United States. As per their website “CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products.” In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) oversees consumer health and safety regulations.

At Universal Packaging, we make sure we stay on top of all the regulations that could impact our customer’s products. We err on the side of compliance by periodically testing our paints, sprays and glass and by being active members of the SGCD (Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators). Specifically, we don’t use any lead in any of our inks or sprays. Additionally, our BPA-free paints and sprays are used on many brands, thus removing this as a potential flash-point issue in the future. In the end, our customers know that we are fully versed – and compliant with – all regulations across North America. This allows them to sleep well at night.

~Steve Pelkey

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